Instant messaging has become an integral part of our daily lives. If you are an iOS user, there is a good chance you already use iMessage, Apple’s very own messaging service. While iMessage has been around for years, the new iOS 11 has given it some new features and functionality. In this article we take a look at everything you need to know about using iMessage on iOS 11.
All New Screen Effects in iMessage
With iOS 11, Apple did not introduce any new bubble effects with iMessage. However, it has added two new screen effects that you will certainly like. As you may already know, the screen effects are the animated text backgrounds that make the messaging more fun and unique. The first addition is the ‘Echo’ effect. If you use this effect, the receiver of your message will be bombarded with a variety of fun message bubbles around your message. This could be very helpful if you wish to emphasize a particular message and want to make sure that the message draws the attention of the user repeatedly.
Then there is another new effect ‘Spotlight.’ This is another effect you can use to make sure your message gets read and is not ignored. You can use this effect if you are sending a very important message. As the name suggests, this effect will emphasize your message by highlighting it with a spotlight. This will quickly grab the attention of the receiver.
More Intuitive App Drawer
The greatest addition to iMessage with the roll-out of iOS 10 was the app’s own, inbuilt App Store. This allowed the iOS users to access some cool apps from within iMessage. It greatly enhanced the messaging experience of the users. But, using the App Store wasn’t all that fun. Also, browsing the downloaded apps wasn’t as convenient as one may have liked.
Thanks to iOS 11, the app drawer of iMessage has been remodeled. Apple has given more fluidity to the app drawer making it so much easier to use. The ‘A’ icon on the iMessage interface now lets you access the App Store quickly. In iOS 10, the icon would only show the recently downloaded apps. You can still access the recent apps though. This section is now available on the toolbar at the bottom. You just need to swipe to see your recent apps. iOS 11 has made the App Drawer more intuitive. You can interact more by swiping and less by tapping.
Send Apple Pay Cash to Others
When iOS 11 first rolled out, it did not integrate Apple Pay Cash with iMessage. But, with the 11.2 release in December, you can now send Apple Pay Cash to your family and friends through iMessage. This makes using Apple Pay Cash even more convenient. There is a built-in app on iMessage that allows you to send and receive money. It works a lot like Venmo and Square Cash there were already there. The money received is stored in your Apple Pay Wallet. You can use this money anywhere the Apple Pay payment is accepted. You can even transfer the money to your bank account. Now you don’t need to use the third-party apps like Square Cash anymore.
Share Links Using 3D Touch
With iOS 11, sharing the URLs has become even easier. If you have a 3D-Touch iOS device then you can share the URLs in a very intuitive manner. All you have to do is 3D Touch the URL in the iMessage. Once that’s done, slide up and you will see the menu on the screen like you used to before. However, this time you will also see the option to Share the link. You can use the desired app to share the link with others.
Silence Message Threads More Easily
What was once ‘Do Not Disturb’ is now ‘Hide Alerts’ in iOS 11. But, it is not the just the change in the name we are talking about. iOS 11 has made it easier to mute or silence the iMessage threads. Like ‘Do Not Disturb’, the ‘Hide Alerts’ toggle can be accessed by tapping on the information icon located on the upper right. But, this could be one too many steps for some. This is why Apple decided to make it even easier. Now there is a shortcut on the swipe menu on the home screen of iMessage. This shortcut lets you quickly disable the notifications for group as well as individual chats. All you have to do is swipe left on a thread and you will be able to access the shortcut.
There is one more benefit to using this feature. You don’t have to open the message thread to disable the notifications. You can do it from outside. This means the sender will not get the ‘Read’ receipt for the message.
Sharing with Family is Easier Now
Apple allowed you to share stuff with your family and friends. Now, it has gone step further and made things even easier. Let’s say you have Apple Music subscription and you wish to share it with a family member. It has just become easier with iOS 11. All you have to do is go to Settings and tap your Apple ID. Now tap ‘Family Sharing’ and you will see a new menu. Simply select the apps or subscriptions you would like to share and tap the option ‘Add Family Member.’ You can even share your iCloud account using this feature.
You will get a pop-up message on which you can choose ‘Invite via iMessage.’ The other person will receive an iMessage invitation. This is definitely a lot easier than before. Especially if you have someone who doesn’t usually check the notifications or emails. Please note that before you can send the invite you will be required to enter the credit card security code.
Upcoming Updates to iMessage
11.2.1 was the latest iteration of iOS 11 released on December 13, 2017. When Apple had announced iOS 11, they had said that the users will be able to sync their iMessages across all the devices without any hassles with the new firmware. However, due to some unknown challenges, they could not provide this feature in the initial firmware releases. Now they have planned to introduce this function in one of the upcoming iOS 11 updates. Once this feature is available, you will be able to sync iMessages with iCloud allowing you to download them on all the iOS devices you are using with the same Apple account. This feature will also help you save space on your device storage as a lot of data will be saved on cloud. We don’t know when this update will be available. However, it is expected to be released soon.
“With iOS 11 Apple has made iMessage more convenient and more fun. Not only has iMessage received some cool additions, many new utilities have also been added. I am hoping you will love these new features as much as I did.”
Author Bio: Renuka Sharma, Is one of the writer who love to read and write about latest gadgets and trending apps. She also loves to surrounded by the technology and cover wide range of technology updates. Rather then technology, photography is another thing which attracts her.